Government considering further international travel restrictions 

More than 240 new cases of the virus were confirmed over the weekend, with Saturday's figure of 174 the highest single day recorded since mid-May.
Government considering further international travel restrictions 
Stephen Donnelly: 'While travel-related cases here remain small, some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases so the risk is increasing.' Picture: Julien Behal

Further international travel restrictions are under consideration as the government tries to get to grips with rising Covid-19 rates.

More than 240 new cases of the virus were confirmed over the weekend, with Saturday's figure of 174 the highest single-day recorded since mid-May.

A further 68 new cases were confirmed this evening, meaning there has now been a total of 26,712 cases confirmed. 

No deaths were announced on Sunday, with 1,772 people having lost their lives in a Covid-19 related death since the outbreak began in February.

More than two-thirds of the cases announced over the weekend were in Kildare, Offaly and Laois, the three counties subject to a local lockdown since Friday, including 129 in Kildare alone.

Despite the surge in cases, HSE chief Paul Reid insists the country is not in the midst of a second wave.

“If you stand back and take a look at our incidence rates across the country and take out the impact of the three counties, at the moment, it wouldn’t indicate we are at a second surge,” Mr Reid said.

But, he pleaded for caution as "it can rise very quickly", adding the cases numbers are "a significant concern".

Health minister Stephen Donnelly said the Government is considering further options.

Writing on Twitter, the minister said, "Many are asking about travel/tourists coming into Ireland from countries with high Covid rates. My Dept is preparing options for Gov (sic) on how to restrict non-essential travel from third countries (outside EU/UK) with high rates of Covid.

"These options will be finalised as soon as possible.

While travel-related cases here remain small, some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases so the risk is increasing.

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer, said, “We continue to see cases linked to the outbreaks in counties where additional public health measures have been introduced. 

"This was expected and we will continue to monitor closely."

He urged people to remain vigilant and to adhere to new rules around wearing face coverings in retail and indoor settings.

"[It] is just one more way in which people can demonstrate their solidarity with one another as we seek to suppress the spread of Covid-19," he said.

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